In the Valley near Slievenamon
The site at Kilvemnon is situated in a rural and picturesque area of East Tipperary – an area nestled close to the Kilkenny border known as Sleveardagh. The secluded green field site facilitates panoramic views of the fabled Slievenamon Mountain, lowland pastures and woodlands to the south and south west of the site.
The goal was to create a design that responds thoughtfully to the site terrain. It was deemed that a conventional square or rectangular plan form would not have been suitable for this location. In contrast, an off-standard plan form achieves key design objectives specifically the elevations facing south, and south west are extensive in length. The plan is single depth throughout the three zones of the dwelling namely the central structure (zone 1) and the southern and northern wings (zone 2 and 3).
Further to the above, a significant amount of glazing is introduced to the south and south west facing elevations. As a result of the above three design strategies, the scenic views are framed via large windows from every key interior space such as the kitchen, dining and living areas, sitting room, foyer, bedrooms, office and master bedroom. Also, the key interior spaces of the dwelling will have high levels of natural lighting and sunshine (solar gain) throughout the year.
To summarize, the above interior rooms will absorb significant amounts of natural lighting and sunshine and as such heating and electrical consumption will be kept to a minimum. To avoid solar glare, the level of south facing glazing was specified at an optimum level (no walls of glass are evident). We specified solar shading devices in some areas and evergreen feature trees are highlighted outside corner windows to create shaded zones.
There is a forecourt to the front of the dwelling and a private south facing courtyard to the rear of the dwelling. The central structure (storey and a half) incorporates the entrance areas and the main living areas on the ground floor and sleeping quarters on the first floor. The two-storey northern wing incorporates the sitting room, bedrooms, utility, bathrooms and storage areas. The single storey southern wing incorporates an office, hallway and a guest bedroom – a bathroom is situated off the hallway and serves the ground floor. The building achieves an A2 rating on the BER scale.